VG (Norway): these countries argue that mers hasn’t got to them

In most countries the epidemic of coronavirus order made itself felt, but there are a few exceptions. Six countries stand out from the crowd last Saturday, saying that they are very infected and died from covid-19.

Among them — the Pacific, Vanuatu, Nauru, Tonga and Solomon Islands. This isolated island nation. And the remaining two countries — North Korea, bordering with South Korea, Russia and China, and Turkmenistan in Central Asia.

The two countries have had totalitarian one-party state. The press there is control of powerful leaders, Kim Jong-UN and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

Closed the border with China

Although they argue that the epidemic of the coronavirus have not reached their closed borders, some information still can be gleaned from the press, says the Professor for Korean studies at the University of Oslo Vladimir Tikhonov.

“According to North Korean media, about 10 thousand citizens was for some time isolated, and 350 foreigners. Now most of them were released, he says. From this information and the stories of the families of those who managed to flee the country, it can be concluded that North Korea managed to get many, because the country is intensively traded with China”.

But after in China was discovered coronavirus, North Korea quickly shut down the border.

“Those who tried to secretly continue to trade, according to some information, executed. All who were suspected carriers of infection, was immediately put into quarantine. And it seems that these measures have worked: they did it,” — said Tikhonov.

A shortage of medical ventilators

In his opinion, the health of North Korea a little adapted for the treatment of serious cases of coronavirus infection, although the country has more doctors per capita than in the United States and France.

“In the province, probably not of the ventilator, so that there is little they can do. In most provincial hospitals, no painkillers. Smuggling need to transport from China.”

VG: do you think we’ll ever know the true extent of the pandemic in the country?

Vladimir Tikhonov: Perhaps in 40-50 years, when the researchers will have access to the archives. But then no one would be interested.

Do not let the delegation who

The fact that North Korea is almost always fully closed, it is known to many. But the Central Asian country, Turkmenistan, say less. There ruled with an iron hand Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

“It is difficult to estimate how many infected there, because the country is for us absolutely not transparent. She and the delegation who currently not allowed, which in my opinion, just proves that they have infected,” said a researcher at the Norwegian Institute of international Affairs (NUPI) Roman Vakulchuk VG.

However, he did not think that cases of infection in Turkmenistan much.

“There is done only a couple of flights a day. This contributes to limiting outbreaks”.

If the infected will become more Berdimuhamedov, in the opinion of Vakulchuk, will not be silent to receive international aid because the country’s health system is absolutely not suited to combat a serious outbreak of the disease.

“For basic treatment they have the potential is definitely there, so with a small number of cases they handle. This health system will hold. But if patients will be more, not enough resources. They have no medical equipment,” — said the expert NUPI.